Venison exporter sees dual benefit from P2P Cervena

P2P logoIf the deer industry’s Passion2Profit (P2P) strategy achieves its Cervena sales targets, it will not only result in higher returns from the new chilled markets, compared with venison frozen down for game season sale. It will also increase prices for frozen venison by reducing supply, says Gerard Hickey, chief executive of Firstlight Foods.

He estimates the net benefit per animal could be as much as $1.60 per kg, with $1.20 coming from the higher chilled return and 40c coming from lower frozen supply.

Firstlight is one of the five exporters participating in the P2P strategy and was responsible for supplying Cervena for the recent successful summer marketing trial in the Netherlands.

“Two exporters and two distributors sold 37 tonnes to the Netherlands in year one. On the basis of that experience, and tapping into the resources of all five exporters and their distributors, we are confident that in time we will build sales in the Netherlands and Belgium to 200 tonnes,” says Hickey.

The P2P target is to build year-round chilled Cervena sales of 200 tonnes in each of six new markets or market segments in existing markets. The total of 1,200 tonnes would require 72,000 deer and deliver an extra $4.8 m to producers, or around $1.20/kg.

“If these targets are achieved, it will reduce by 72,000 the number of deer processed between December and July that are normally frozen for sale during the European game season. Since 250,000 deer are normally processed during this period, this represents a reduction in frozen supply of 30 percent.

“All else being equal, this will increase frozen leg and shoulder prices. By how much is anyone’s guess, but 10 percent would bring producers an extra 40c/kg outside the game season.”

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